A Christmas break in Helmsley

After a festive getaway to Wales in 2013, we spent this Christmas a bit closer to home in the market town of Helmsley, North Yorkshire. This pretty town is known for its 900-year-old castle, 100-year-old town hall and historic market square.

Helmsley Castle

But I think it must surely also hold some kind of record for the highest number of teashops per capita. Everywhere I turned there was an option for tea and cakes, which is basically my dream come true!

We enjoyed a midnight service at All Saints Church on Christmas Eve and a fabulous seven-course dinner at the Feversham Arms Hotel on Christmas Day. (No photos I’m afraid, due to a self-imposed camera ban – I thought I’d let my family eat at least one meal without having to take review photos of it, what with it being Christmas and all.)

Over the next few days we enjoyed walking around the area, which has a population of just 1,500, and soaking up the feeling of small town community spirit.

Helmsley market square

We also, obviously, had the chance to check out a few of those coffee shops and found a firm favourite in the Cotton House, which was as cosy as it looked from the outside.

Cotton House, Helmsley

As well as my amazing hot chocolate we sampled homemade scones, Christmas cake and lemon polenta cake, all of which were delicious. Who needs a diet at Christmas? 😉